How To Get Rid of Crabgrass Naturally
Crabgrass is a pesky weed that takes over many lawns in America each summer. It’s easily recognizable due to its finger-like blades that reach over the ground. One moment, you may notice a small patch of crabgrass, and the next day it seems to have spread like a wildfire. While there are many strong weedkillers and fertilizers that can rid a lawn of crabgrass, many people prefer natural remedies that will keep their pets and children safe.
How can you get rid of crabgrass naturally? There are many options you can use to get rid of crabgrass naturally. They are as follows:
- Keep your lawn watered
- Pull it out by hand
- Put down grass seed on bare patches of lawn
- Leave your mower blade up
- Get rid of crabgrass seeds by bagging clippings
Crabgrass is a weed the grows annually; meaning if you had it the previous year, it will most likely come back this year. By starting preventative measures in the early spring, you can help keep it away all summer. After the first frost, crabgrass will die off and become easy to remove; however, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any crabgrass seeds left beneath the surface of the soil, waiting for spring. Keep reading to see how you can get rid of crabgrass naturally.
Keep Your Lawn Watered
To effectively defeat crabgrass, you must know what aspects help crabgrass thrive. Crabgrass thrives in arid climates where the temperatures are hot and the soil is dry. In most places across America, climates tend to get like this in the late summer. The grass starts to turn brown and become weak, which is the perfect time for crabgrass to emerge and take hold of your lawn.
There are ways you can combat crabgrass before it even appears. By ensuring your lawn have adequate water supply from spring until after the first frost, you deter crabgrass from flourishing. Water will keep your lawn healthy and strong, ready to ward off weeds, and it will also keep the soil hydrated and healthy.
Your lawn needs between 1″ – 1 1/2″ of water per week to stay healthy, along with an occasional deep soak. By following these guidelines, you can help keep crabgrass away.
If you live in an area that struggles with drought throughout the year, it can be difficult to get your lawn the water it needs. For tips and tricks on making your lawn drought-resistant, check out our article, Making Your Lawn Drought Resistant: What You Need to Know.
Pull It Out By Hand
Did your parents ever pay you to pull weeds out of the garden? Mine did, and because of this, I consider myself an expert weed puller. Many people; however, find weed-pulling to be a tedious task that just isn’t worth it.
Luckily, crabgrass can be pretty easy to remove from the ground. When you pull out crabgrass, you’ll notice how the weed branches out and spreads throughout the yard. Find the root of the weed, and pull at the surface of the soil. By doing this, you have better leverage to remove the entire weed, including the roots.
You can use a shovel or a hoe to make de-weeding your lawn or garden easier. The best thing to do is to pull weeds as soon as you see them emerge. If you don’t, your yard can easily be overcome by weeds that have sunk their roots deep, making them hard to remove.
There are certain things to remain conscious of when weeding your lawn or garden. Always wear gardening gloves to avoid being pricked or cut by weeds; many weeds have thorns on them that hurt when you grab them! Don’t hunch over to pull weeds; rather, use the leverage of your legs to help yank the weed from the ground. Many people injure their back by hunching over and trying to pull weeds out of the ground!
Put Down Grass Seed On Bare Patches of Lawn
As mentioned above, you’ll want to start building crabgrass defenses before the late summer season arrives. In the early spring, review your lawn to see if there are any bare patches. Crabgrass loves bare patches because they receive plenty of sunlight and there are no other plants to compete with. Put down grass seed on any bare patches of lawn that you see.
Watering your lawn and fertilizing the bare patches can help the new grass emerge quickly and healthy. Always do your research on what type of grass you should plant. If you already have one type of grass in your yard, it’s best to put down the seed of the same grass. Some grasses will spread and overtake other grasses. To avoid this from happening, research to see if there are different grass types that are compatible with the type in your yard.
Leave Your Mower Blade Up
Another way to combat crabgrass from growing is by leaving your mower blade up throughout the summer instead of lowering it as the season gets underway. Yes, this means that you’ll probably have to cut your grass more often, but it’s also a great way to ward off crabgrass.
Crabgrass flourishes when it has direct sunlight. In arid climates, it can be difficult for grass and other plants to grow, which means the crabgrass receives direct sunlight. When you leave your mower blade up and leave your grass a little longer, the ground will be shielded from the sun by the taller grass. This will help to keep crabgrass from growing.
Are you looking for a new lawnmower? There are many benefits to buying a self-propelled lawnmower. Check out our article Buying a Self-Propelled Lawnmower: Complete Buyer’s Guide.
Get Rid of Crabgrass Seeds By Bagging Clippings
Another way to rid crabgrass from your yard for the years to come is by bagging your grass clippings. While allowing grass clippings to stay on your lawn can help return nutrients to the soil, it can also allow crabgrass seeds to take root.
By removing crabgrass seeds from the equation altogether, you’re helping to keep crabgrass away for the next year, seeing how it is a weed that tends to show up annually. If your lawn struggles with crabgrass, it may be a wise decision to bag your grass clippings.
Other Ways You Can Get Rid of Crabgrass
There are many other ways you can get rid of crabgrass. There are some effective methods that use chemicals or nutrients to rid your lawn of crabgrass. If you’re sick of dealing with crabgrass and you just want it out of your yard, keep reading!
Use a Post-Emergent Herbicide On Your Lawn
A post-emergent herbicide is a herbicide you use if the weeds have already emerged from the ground. Not all herbicides kill crabgrass, and some can be so potent that they’ll kill your lawn as well. Do your research before purchasing a herbicide to make sure it will kill crabgrass but leave your lawn in a healthy state.
If you have animals or children that play in your yard, it’s important to review how long the herbicide needs to work and how long before someone can safely play in the grass. When it comes to working with any chemicals, it’s important to make sure that everyone stays safe.
Feed Your Lawn Regularly
One way to keep crabgrass away is to feed your lawn regularly. The healthier and lusher your grass is, the harder it will be for crabgrass to grow. To feed your lawn, you can use grass fertilizer throughout the year. Fertilizer has excess amounts of minerals that your lawns need to grow healthy. Most fertilizers do give instructions about how long to wait before you can play in the grass.
Some fertilizers also come with crabgrass preventer in them. You can use this fertilizer in the Spring to ward off the crabgrass from sprouting and taking root. You should fertilize your lawn throughout the Spring and Summer and into Fall to ensure that your lawn is staying healthy.
Apply Crabgrass Preventer in the Spring
Pre-emergent, also known as a preventer, is a weed killer that can be used over your lawn before weeds have emerged. During the winter and early spring, crabgrass seeds can lay dormant underneath the soil waiting for the right conditions before growing.
By applying pre-emergent to your lawn in the early Spring, the preventer will sink into the soil and kill off any crabgrass seeds that may be waiting around. As always, make sure you read the instructions on the pre-emergent to make sure it won’t kill your grass or affect your animals or children if they walk in the yard.
I hope this article was helpful in putting up defenses against crabgrass. To know more, check out our article Getting Rid of Crabgrass in the Summer: Complete Guide.